With two more months of winter left and another snowstorm hitting the Northeast, some cities and states have run dry their budgets for snow removal, causing them to turn to cheaper, more creative ways to dispose of the ice.
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In Boston, they've built a mountain of displaced snow 50 feet high and four acres wide.
'Pickle Juice,' Beet Juice: New Solutions for Snow Removal
In Fort Lee, N.J., they are using a substance some are referring to as "pickle juice," a salt water mixture called brine that prevents snow from sticking to the pavement when it's sprayed before a big storm. The brine also makes it easier to push the snow off of covered roads.
Snow plow driver Joe Colabro swears by it.
"It's a great invention," he said.
In Syracuse, N.Y., experts are using beet juice mixed with rock salt to offset the icy aftereffects of the storm.
Beet juice has a high freezing point and doesn't stain roads, making it an ideal solution for towns over their snow budgets.
But while saltwater and beet juice help, they can't stop this winter's onslaught, which has dumped more snow in one month than most places get in two winters.
Snowstorms Send States, Cities Over Their Budgets
Boston already has spent two-thirds of $16 million allocated for snow and ice removal for the entire winter, while Worcester, Mass., ran through its budget for the whole season and went $300,000 beyond.
New York City exhausted the $38 million it budgeted for the season on the mega-storm that hit the day after Christmas -- four storms ago.
Snow-Struck New Jersey to Feds: Send Money
Some states are so far in the red that their leaders are asking for relief from the federal government. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is asking FEMA for $53 million in federal assistance after the Christmas snowstorm.
"The intensity of this storm required extraordinary measures which strained the resources of the state," he said.
In fact, all of the Northeastern states that have been hardest hit this winter already were struggling with gaping budget deficits.